Sunday, October 2, 2011

Million Dollar Highway to Ouray

The Dallas Divide is one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the San Juans, especially in the fall. They say the 20th of September was the date with the best colors...but today in my book was unbelievable,,,I started my journey out of Durango about 0700...and started north on highway 550...the climb was steady but not first......there are numerous pull overs, which I took advantage of....the further north and the higher elevation the colors got more spectacular...

Photograph by Horst Kelly
As the trip continues you start to see a incredible palette of orange, yellow mixed with reds and amber with the backdrop of the green forest...and the sky...a fresh, crisp blue, with a cloud  or two...the problem is that is is difficult to capture that majestic moment on a piece of film....but for me just to have mentally captured the moment is enough......

Photograph by Horst Kelly

As you go north past Silveton.......the elevation increases....and it seems Colorado does not believe in guard rails....I don't have a problem when I'm against the mountain...but when I have nothing but a 5000 foot or more drop off of open air, well now my hearts starts picking up its pace....and then a sign comes along that says "road narrows"...thanks.....there are some parts that 20 mph is going too fast...but that's ok by me...slow is good...I really appreciate all the pull offs...not only for the photo ops , but also to let that long line of cars behind me pass..haha....

Photograph by Horst Kelly
The pass to Ouray had the best fall colors I have seen. Non- stop slide show of Colorado's beauty. It took me 4+ hours to make it to Ouray...since I had never been to Ouray before, I walked around a bit, took some photo's of the town and ate lunch at an out door pub....there menu was slim as this weekend is their last for the season...For those that haven't been to Ouray ...its a small village, was a mining town, great atmosphere, nestled in a valley,  and it's called the Switzerland of America....I decided not to go any further north and so I headed back to Ouray...the weather turned cloudy and had patches of rain, so the photo ops went to back about five, grilled a salmon, tomato and cumberber salad ....and called it a I plan on going west to Cortez then north to permitting....more to come...Horst

Photograph by Horst Krlly

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